How monitoring headlines can increase job performance

Etched Communication

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Early in my public relations (PR) career I had a boss who frequently remarked, “This is one of the few professions where you can justify taking time out of the workday to read or watch the news.”

This was more than a decade ago. The media landscape has changed dramatically since then, as has the PR industry. But, I still agree with the sentiment of my former boss. Taking even just 30 minutes a day to scan headlines can help professionals in all communication disciplines, advertising, PR, copywriting, marketing, etc., increase job performance.

Communication professionals who actively monitor the news are often privy to marketplace trends and/or issues before they are widespread. They can then use the knowledge to create more inventive campaigns.

Keeping a pulse on the news also provides beneficial insight on what’s impacting and/or influencing target audiences. Most communication professionals know the basic demographics of the audiences they are seeking to target, such as age, gender, ethnicity, etc. To truly engage any group, however, it’s important to also consider their needs, mindset, and behaviors. Monitoring the news is a straightforward way increase awareness of this kind of information.

One of the most amusing, and frustrating, characteristics of all communication careers is our skills must constantly evolve. The marketplace is always changing, and therefore, our abilities and proficiencies must change too.

Strategies that are creative today, could quickly become outdated. But, monitoring the news and utilizing the information to create dynamic strategies and tactics for clients is one of the most clear-cut ways to become a smarter professional.

By Toni Harrison, @tonihmedia

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